Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Grief is an odd thing. I have been thinking about this for the last month or so, ever since my Grandpa passed away. He was 91 years old and the proud father of 7 (!) children. It wasn't a surprise when he died. He had gotten pneumonia the week before, so we knew that the call was coming.

The real surprise was how long he did live after the love of his life was gone. My sweet Grandma passed away 10 years ago this week, and at that time, they had been married for 59 years. He adored her--it was something that we talked about at his funeral. My aunt commented that he was certainly a "one-woman man". I think they met in school and that was that. :) Knowing that, I thought for certain that Grandpa would be gone within a year of a broken heart. And I think he wanted to be gone--he wanted to be with his Bette.

But that was not the plan. He was here to meet 9 of his great-grandchildren, which I like to believe gave him joy. (I know that my Grandma would have spoiled them rotten.) In the past few years, his mind deteriorated. He moved out of the home he had lived in for years, and into senior housing. Then, he needed more help and moved into assisted living. At that point, he claimed that he found Bette again and was going to marry her! It was cute, yet sad at the same time.

We saw him at the end of Halloween, when we all got together, and he was incredibly lucid. He watched the kids run around and we had a nice conversation. He left the room and then I found out he went back to his bedroom to take a nap. I regret that I never got the chance to give him a final hug or say that I love you. I like to think that he knew that.

So, ever since he passed, I haven't really cried. I feel a few tears, but nothing really happens. I know from past experiences that something odd will trigger it, and then I will finally be able to cry.

The actual day of the funeral was strange. Obviously, the basic needs of children always trump everything, even grief. What I mean by this is that I couldn't even think of where we were going that morning, because I still had to treat it like a normal day: get the kids changed, fed, bathed and dressed and then still prep the diaper bag to ensure that they needed for the day. Afterward, we all went out to eat and spend time together as a family. And then that night, Mike and I watched a movie at home, but it just felt odd to do "normal" things at a time like that. I know that is what you should do. Life goes on, and enjoying life doesn't diminish the person who is gone. It just feels weird.

Friday, January 20, 2012


Dear Allison, my little Ally beary,

Today, you turn 7 years old. My heart is full of all the things that I want to say to you. You are my sweet girl, who has always been my child who wants to cuddle and asks for more hugs and kisses. You are growing up so quickly--I remember when we brought you home from the hospital and took you on a "tour" of the house. Then we didn't know what to do with you! :)

Today, you are eagerly anticipating your birthday party tomorrow and your presents from Mommy and Daddy tonight. You jumped out of bed last night and said "Goodbye 6! Tomorrow I am 7!" I hope that as a 7 year old, you keep the same great attitude and joy for life that you have right now. You are a spelling ace, and an amazing big sister. You read everything in sight--even the cereal boxes--and can't wait until "Wild Kratts" comes on tv. I am starting to wonder if a career as a zoologist is in your future!

Our "Mommy & Ally" days are full of special time when we can just snuggle and laugh. I look forward to more of those days, as well as "girly" days when we play with Kelly.

You are my sunshine, baby. Happy birthday!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Birthday BS

Allison's 7th birthday is quickly approaching. I cannot believe how fast time flies by. It truly seems like just yesterday she was Kelly's age, running around like crazy and barely speaking in sentences.

We, well I, have had a huge issue with the birthday planning. When I was little, my mom made me invite all the girls in my class to my party--even the brats who teased me and made me cry. My birthday is in April, so we were usually able to have it outside. Obviously, with Ally's birthday in January, that's isn't happening. Nor can I afford it, or even imagine having 13 little girls running around. Oy!

So every year I have guilt over how to handle this. I don't want to hurt first-graders' feelings. Last year, we invited 5 or so kids and the teacher put the invites in the folder that went home every day. No problem and it was a small but fun party.

This year, I have the same guilt especially since she decided to wanted to invite a BOY! What? Here I am trying to figure out some way to invite all the girls and now you want to invite a boy? What does this mean?????

So, Mike slammed the brakes on inviting more than 6 kids and we were fine with the whole inviting the boy thing (though I still have questions...).

Her teacher this year does the same folder procedure--send the folder every day, and it gets sent home every night with notes, homework, fliers, etc. I sent the invites in Ally's folder with a note for Mrs. D to put the invites in the other kids' folders. I have explained to Ally that the kids who aren't invited might feel hurt that they aren't included--we are talking about 6 year olds here.

So that afternoon, I asked what happened. She said that Mrs. D CALLED EACH CHILD INTO THE HALLWAY TO GIVE THEM THE INVITE! Yes, I am screaming because I am livid! Apparently, she did it while they were cleaning up from breakfast. I asked if the other kids noticed and she said yes, they all wanted to know what was going on. One of the little boys said he was jealous. I am so ticked. Allison said that the kids could have noticed it in the folders as well, but I feel like Mrs. D made a HUGE production out of it, which was exactly what I was trying to avoid. Allison could have done it much more nonchalantly than that. Livid. Livid. Livid.

Am I wrong?